The Muslim fashion industry is gaining strength in Indonesia, with an increasing number of modest wear e-commerce retailers emerging, as women start to use the internet and social media to promote and experiment with clothes that cover them up but still keep them stylish.
“Modesty” in a Muslim context may be expressed by wearing loosefitting outer garments, long-sleeved, crew-necked tops, and covering one’s head with a headscarf. The headgear, hijab or jilbab, is used by more than half of women in Indonesia.
In Jakarta, one of the most popular markets to buy garments is Tanah Abang. Its Block G section hosts sellers who offer all shapes and shades of shawls and headscarves.
Often called “pashmina” in Indonesian, the scarves usually are not made of cashmere, as the name would suggest. Some, of course, will be produced from the luxurious wool and their price will reflect it, but many are inexpensive fabrics that can be bought for even Rp 20,000 ($1.5) a piece.
Although modest wear already reaches fashion shows and runways, the biggest stake in the sector still belongs to those who court middle- and lower-income consumers.